See what one of our recent yoga participants has said:  "Yoga is more than just fancy stretching. I've learned much during the past few classes I was not expecting about the meanings behind poses and how truly beneficial the lessons they teach can be off the yoga mat. I learned how to reset and settle with just one breath and rather than fight and fear, embrace my ambivalence. Since I've been attending yoga theres been an increase in patience, discipline and balance in all aspects of my life. It's about better managing yourself and loving yourself."

Walk-in fee is $12, or $100 for ten classes.  Buy a shop membership for $35 per year ($25 for seniors) and receive one free class per year.    Yoga classes make a perfect gift - buy a gift certificate today!  

Yoga for Chronic Pain Relief

Living with chronic pain of any kind is a humbling experience.  Pain causes our lives to change in both small and major ways.  Unexpectedly we find ourselves needing to create a new relationship to our body, mind and spirit – a process that can be frustrating and confusing.  Yoga for Chronic Pain Relief addresses such realities through the following practices:

  • Gentle, Progressive, Easily Modified Physical Yoga Postures (Asana)
    • Stress/pain makes muscles go into spasms.  Asana, beyond its ability to induce relaxation, can be an effective way to relieve muscle tightness that both causes and is the result of chronic pain. In addition and in contrast to many other forms of movement, yoga promotes both strength and flexibility in muscles.
  • Self-awareness (Svadhyaya)
    • Yoga differentiates pain and suffering. Pain can't be avoided entirely, but how much it affects you—how much you suffer—is related to your thoughts, expectations, and wanting things to be different.
    • Increased self-understanding and self-acceptance changes context of pain, lessening suffering and improving life-style.

Modern science and yoga agree: our present pain and suffering have roots related to past pain, trauma, stress, loss, and illness and the very real biology of your thoughts, emotions, expectations, and memories. Often pain is sustained by how initial experiences/beliefs or traumas changed not just the body but also the mind-body relationship.  Self-awareness brings light to such relationships and allows room for new ones to begin.

  • Restorative Relaxation Techniques
    • Anxiety decreases our ability to tolerate pain, and pain, in turn, creates anxiety.  Simple effective relaxation techniques help break this anxiety loop.
  • Positive Psychology Practices
    • Discovering all that is not being painful in daily life helps create balance and gratitude, and helps shift focus from pain, softening its psychological and physical effects. 
  • Community
    • Being in a group can help alleviate pain by easing the sense of isolation that can come from pain.
  • Breathing Techniques (Pranayama):
    • Pranayama can be a powerful way to quickly relax the nervous system, shifting the balance from our fight-or-flight-or-freeze tendencies (often connected to the cause of recurring pain) to our capacity to relax and restore our nervous systems to a less reactive level, disrupting the pain cycle.
  • Personal Spiritual Connection:  
    • Touching upon the spiritual domain, however one chooses to do so, creates meaning, hope, purpose and relatedness – all of which reduce suffering.

Who should attend?  Everyone is invited to attend, chronic pain or not.  A gentle yoga practice can benefit anyone. 

Here are some conditions for which one may find relief through these classes:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Cancer
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Chronic Injury Pain
  • High Stress (which is known to exacerbate pain and its recurring cycles)   

Benefits may also include:

  • Improved sleep
  • Improved posture
  • Improved ability to focus
  • Ability to resume activities previously discontinued due to pain

 

Meditation

Meditation may be the most powerful yogic tool of all for managing chronic pain.  Through meditation we learn how to mediate the conversation between our life and our pain, how to be concurrently present to our body, mind and spirit in the present moment, and how to rest in the moment instead of bouncing between the past and the future. 

In addition, meditative practices have been proven to decrease levels of cortisol (a natural hormone that becomes overabundant during chronic stress/pain and can be damaging to body tissues and systems). The relaxation that’s at the heart of meditation relieves the muscle tension that most certainly contributes to pain.

Meditation most likely alters a person’s emotional response to pain. Pain is more than just a physical sensation—it is an experience steeped in emotion around the experience of pain. Meditation calms emotions and helps bring perspective to this natural part of the pain cycle.

Meditation also changes the neural pathways in our brain that control the physical sensation of pain.  As we re-wire our thoughts from what was happening at the beginning of our pain to what is actually happening now, we can more effectively shift the intensity of our pain responses.

Who should attend?  Everyone is invited to attend, chronic pain or not.  A gentle yoga practice can benefit anyone.  

Here are some conditions for which one may find relief through these classes:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Cancer
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Chronic Injury Pain
  • High Stress (which is known to exacerbate pain and its recurring cycles

Benefits may include:

  • Improved sleep
  • improved posture
  • improved ability to focus
  • Ability to resume activities previously discontinued due to pain

Gentle Yoga

Gentle Yoga is an easy, nurturing practice that is a slower pace and combines warm-ups, gentle and restorative postures, yogic breathing and guided, deep relaxation. Ideal for anyone wanting to work on strengthening, stress-release, flexibility and balance and overall well-being. The class is fitting for students who are new and also familiar to yoga, students who have physical limitations, chronic pain, or are recovering from injury, and students who want to have a less rigorous, softer nurturing and more relaxing practice.

Gentle yoga classes are well-supported with carefully orchestrated movements, longer, softer stretches, including range of motion exercises. Postures are introduced in gradual steps, with plenty of time to focus on breathing and repetition so that the practice is safe and not stressing to the joints. A gentle yoga style builds mindfulness and concentration that encourages the student to be more aware their body’s messages, thus creating a safer approach so they can make their own moment-to-moment adjustments.

Benefits

  • Strengthened muscles and joints

  • Improved range of motion and flexibility in hips, spine, and shoulders

  • Improved balance

  • Improved posture

  • Reduced stress and pain

  • Increased vitality and a greater sense of well-being

  • Improved sleep

  • Better eating habits

  • Rejuvenates the body's healing capacity through restorative yoga poses

Who should attend?

Appropriate for beginning and continuing students including those experiencing or recovering from illness or injury and for pregnant women.

Class includes:

  • Standing and floor poses

  • Neck and Shoulder

  • Hip Openers

  • Twists

  • Balance

  • Core strengthening

  • Yogic breathing

  • Meditation

  • Relaxation

 

Chair Yoga

Chair yoga is a general term for a practice that modifies yoga poses so that, instead of a mat, the poses can be done while seated or, for those who are able, standing using a chair for support. It is perfect for students with physical challenges who find it difficult to get on and off the floor as required for a traditional yoga class. While seated on a chair, students can do versions of twists, neck and shoulder stretches, hip openers, forward bends, and mild backbends. 

Benefits

In addition to stretching, chair yoga participants can also enjoy the other health benefits of yoga including:

  • Improved range of motion and flexibility in the hips, spine, and shoulders
  • Greater muscle tone
  • Increased circulation, balance, better breathing habits
  • Meditation and ways of relaxation
  • Reduction of stress and pain
  • Better sleep
  • Increased vitality and a greater sense of well-being

Who Should Attend?

Anyone, beginner to advanced, who is unable or who has hesitated trying yoga because of the challenge of getting down onto the floor or doing standing poses. Appropriate for those experiencing or recovering from illness or injury.

Class includes

  • Breathing

  • Meditation

  • Stretching and gentle movement

  • Neck and shoulder stretches

  • Hip openers

  • Twists

  • Balance

  • Strengthening

  • And... a lot of fun while sitting on a chair!

Classes are led by Elissa Cobb, who lives with fibromyalgia, and Janet Chill; both have taught yoga, movement practices and meditation for over 30 years.  

Questions?  Give Yarn & Yoga a call at 802-453-7799, or email Elissa at kestrel@gmavt.net.